Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekly Wag #11:
Stringing Skills for Fetch

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© All Things Dog Blog
Tanner Demonstrates Sit and Stay
 for My Daughter
We're on a roll now...on our way to that elusive game of Fetch that many of us dream of. This week let's work on starting to string skills together. A full-fledged game of Fetch will be a longer string of skills, so we don't want to overwhelm Fido until he's ready. Start simple:
  1. Ask your dog to Sit and Stay until you're ready to start the game. Don't start until your dog is making eye contact and waiting patiently. He'll learn soon enough that the game only begins on your terms.
  2. Throw the ball or toy while simultaneously giving your dog the release command that you use for his Stay ('all done', 'finished', whatever tells him he's free to leave his spot). Keep these first throws short and watch your dog run after the toy. 
  3. Begin calling him to "Come" as he approaches the ball. Your goal today is merely to start the game. He doesn't know the command "Fetch" yet, so no need to use it. We'll get there. Stay with me.
© All Things Dog Blog
The Joy of the Release Command!
Today your dog may not quite understand how to put it all together. That's normal and expected. Once he gets the toy, it may not be returned to you, but don't scold. Just watch the process of seeing him enjoy the moment when you throw the ball and allow him to chase it. Be sure to praise him heartily for coming when you call him to return.


After a few minutes of practice, end the game by placing the toy out of reach. This will signal your dog that the game is over and he'll begin to learn that cue with practice. Keeping the toy in the same location will give you a great deal of control over his behavior in starting the game, so select your spot carefully to be located near where you plan to play for your regular practice sessions, if you'll be practicing at home.

Weekly Wag ButtonI want to know what your dog does when you release him to chase the ball or toy. Leave your comments at the sign up post for our Weekly Wag group. You can still sign up if you'd like to join in these bonding games with your dog. These comments are part of your entry in a giveaway at the end of March. Tell me how your dog does with today's activity.


Questions? Leave them at the link above and I'll be sure to offer assistance. Tanner and I have this game down cold in the advanced versions. You'll get there too, if you stay with regular practice and keep it positive. 

Have you missed any of the Weekly Wags? Here's the whole batch; have fun!



This post is part of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop hosted by Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume. You are welcome to link up here, or check any of their sites for their rules of participation. Happy hopping!

8 comments:



heyitsjethere said...

Hey it's Jet here. Mom said to share that we're still working on stay... for a REALLY long time she said I had to say too. Fetch is way in the future!



Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

That's okay Jet. When you get a rock solid stay you can come back and read up. Your mom is doing a good job on the most important skill. Give her kudos from me :)



The Joke Puppy said...

Great advice ! Hey Carrie & Tanner, Just wanted to stop by and say hello. You may not recognize me by this name, but I helped my Dad, Jack, make a video for you.



sagechronicles said...

I have to confess that I don't have ANY problems fetching my ball--especially if I want it thrown again. We're working on stay, though. That's a hard one for me, but Mom says I'll get it eventually.



browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

Most of us, especially retrievers and shepherd breeds, love to retrieve. However, there are a few dogs who just will not retrieve.

Just hopped by to catch up on your happenings and say hello! Have a great week!

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog



Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

@SageChronicles: Funny how repetition has a way of teaching something that we thought may never be learned. Sounds like you're on the right path.



Kolchak Puggle said...

You have my attention. Kol loves to chase the ball. Retrieving it? Not so much...



cdmtx said...

YoYo is just the same as Kol , he loves to fetch it but not always likes to bring it back ~ he thinks it more fun to play keep away :)

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